Is a Vegan-Friendly Skincare Product?
For a skincare product to be vegan-friendly it must not
contain any animal part (eg animal fats or gelatine) and must not also may
contain ingredients that are an animal bi-product (eg beeswax, honey, lactic
It’s a similar concept to vegan-eating. A vegan will not eat
any part of an animal (eg beef, chicken) nor will they eat ingredients produced
by an animal (eg eggs, dairy).
The difference between a vegetarian-friendly skincare product
and a vegan-friendly skincare product is the absence of any ingredient that is
a bi-product of an animal in vegan-friendly skincare products. This means that
a vegan-friendly product does not contain ingredients such as honey or beeswax.
Look for a Vegan-Friendly Logo?
Vegan-friendly skincare labelling is not very common but I
think it is an important logo as it will usually mean that the product is also
cruelty-free. However please also look for a cruelty-free logo because you
cannot assume that the product’s ingredients or end product, albeit
vegan-friendly, has not been tested on animals. Never assume.
Additionally, the ingredients listed on a skincare label does
not make it easy to spot if an ingredient is vegan-friendly or animal-based. For
example “Helix pomatia” is becoming a popular ingredient in mainstream skincare
products and which has been used in Korean skincare products for many years because
it is reported to have excellent moisturising, anti-wrinkle, anti-aging, and anti-oxidant
properties. Sounds like a fabulous ingredient for your skin, doesn’t it?
But what if I told you that Helix pomatia is known as Snail serum, in layman’s terms?
And what if I told you that there’s nothing beautiful or humane about breeding snails solely for their slime because snails used for this reason spend their lives in captivity on snail farms where, according to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals): “they are confined to boxes and often kept caged behind electric fences that shock them if they try to escape”.
Then there’s ingredients like Gelatin which is commonly
derived from fish but can also be vegetable-derived, or Squalene which was
commonly taken from shark liver oil but is more likely to be, nowadays, derived
from olives. But looking at the ingredients label, both ingredients will be
listed under the same name so how do you know which is animal- and which is
vegetable-based unless the product comes with a vegan-friendly logo?